Guide to Grant Accounting for Nonprofit Organizations

grant accounting

For more information on these reports, as well as other reports that GAO handles, please visit the Reporting section. If an entity does not meet the conditions of a grant, it may be required to return the grant money. Government grants can be recorded under the Income approach since the grant revenue does not have to be paid back. When you receive a grant from a governmental agency, it will typically include a program budget. Learn more about the post-award phase of research administration including award setup, expense monitoring, reporting, billing, and closeout. A grant or contract often contains language that may not be acceptable to the University.

This is important to make sure that the money is going where it’s supposed to go. Grant recipients must meet certain conditions before they can receive the money. Grant recipients must document their actions to ensure proper accountability. One is that it can be difficult to determine the nature of the grant and how it should be accounted for. Another is that grants can have a significant impact on financial statements, so accountants need to be aware of this.

Best accounting method for grants

Grant invoices, on the other hand, are filed in the Accounting Office in the grant invoice folder. A small grant program may require one folder to hold all the invoices for the entire project period. Larger programs, for instance the Migrant and Upward Bound, may require a separate folder for each month. After the program office has entered a purchase requisition and the Accounting staff has approved it, the Purchasing Office will convert the requisition into a bid or a Purchase Order depending on the dollar cut off.

grant accounting

It is important to be fully transparent with grant organizations about your accounting practices before acquiring any grants. If assistance is required with reviewing financial reports, reconciling costs to planned budgets, system or report accessibility, or tracing an error in posting, please contact the Grant Accounting Office for assistance. The Accounting Office maintains closed grant files for seven years from the program ending date. The records for each grant project consist of a program file and a paid invoice file. Included in the closed grant program folder will be a Grant Summary Report and a Grant Detail Report subtotaled by account.

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The Accounting Office works with the Purchasing Office to screen and resolve items that the University Legal Counsel may reject. This will enable the Purchasing Office staff to, if necessary, contact the grantor in advance to request contract language modification so that we may avoid last minute delays. Grant Accounting offers the following post-award services (pre-award services are provided by Division of Sponsored Programs). The Grant Accounting Office is a central administrative department within Finance and Operations that reports to the University Controller.

What is grant accounting?

Grant Accounting is responsible for the financial management of externally sponsored programs, which includes the preparation and submission of related financial reports and invoices, cash collections, expenditure compliance review, cost transfers, maintenance of accounts receivable and program closeout.

Customarily, the Director of Accounting assigns an individual from the Accounting Office staff to the grant program to assist the program director in the day-to-day fiscal operations. In addition, the Accounting Director is also responsible for the overall direction of all grant accounting. Make sure to keep track of all the paperwork and requirements for the grant. Grant accounting is the process of keeping track of the money awarded through grants.

Government grants

Once awarded, the grant must be approved before any revenue is transferred to fund the project. Most grants and contracts provide for the recovery of F&A costs incurred in their executions and management. The recovery is based upon negotiated rates and assessed to individual projects on a percentage basis. The rates for the University of Central Arkansas are negotiated with the U.S.

  • Grant Accounting is committed to providing high-quality, efficient services to support the University in its mission of excellence in education.
  • Other grants or contracts require that the University submit an invoice to obtain funds due.
  • Keep good communication with the grantor and be proactive in addressing any issues that may arise.
  • This area also provides all accounting services for the CSU Foundation, a private non-profit corporation that solicits contributions and manages endowment funds for the University.
  • Additionally, grant accounting provides transparency into the financial status of an organization.
  • When receiving a conditional grant, do not recognize the funds until you have met all of the conditions.

These grants are treated as deferred income and allocated in proportion to depreciation on related assets. The grant is recognized in the statement of activities over the useful life of the asset. Indirect costs are charged to each grant account on a monthly basis by applying the approved indirect cost rate to the expenditures incurred in the previous month.

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The Grant and Contract Accounting department manages the financial component of the University’s externally funded research, public service, and other separately budgeted projects. An important aspects of contracts and grants accounting is ensuring compliance with all policies and regulations. The notification is sent via an email from uiris- to the parties listed on the Award Activation Authorization Notice (AAAN).

  • The program files contain all pertinent documents including the proposal, letter of award or agreement, correspondence, fiscal and program reports, etc.
  • The Accounting Office does not maintain additional payroll records for any grant programs for which the payroll expenses are directly charged through the Payroll System.
  • The program director should resolve any deficit situations with the Accounting staff.
  • Learn more about the post-award phase of research administration including award setup, expense monitoring, reporting, billing, and closeout.
  • Your accounting system must be able to track a grant’s budget and actual activity to ensure compliance and proper grant management.

The National Science Foundation funds its programs based upon a reimbursement request submitted by the University. Federal grants, which are passing through the Pennsylvania Department of Education, are remitted to the University on a predetermined payment schedule. Other grants or contracts require that the University submit an invoice to obtain funds due. For accurate management of grants for nonprofits, grants must be treated as income and matched with related costs in the same period.